Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Year of Film part 6- Cyrus

Viewed February... 7? Let's go with that.

"Cyrus," starring John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill marketed itself as an oedipal story about a middle-aged man who begins dating a woman with a 20-something year old son (Johan Hill). The son is fiercely protective of the relationship with his mother (The always-stunning Marisa Tomei) and will do anything to stop John (John C. Reilly) from pursuing the relationship.

The movie seems to think that it is telling a unique story about this relationship between the three people, wherein Cyrus begins to get passive-aggressive toward John and tries to sabotage the relationship. Unfortunately, despite the actors' best efforts, this movie doesn't do anything that new. In fact, there was a period of time when I was growing up in the early 90s when movies about new dads and preteen sons who didn't like them were commonplace and filled with people like Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Chevy Chase. In fact, except for the cursing and the sexual references, this movie is just a more adult version of 1995's "Man of the House."

Even the slogans indicate that this is almost the same exact movie. (And just for kicks, the scores on IMDB are Cyrus- 6.6, MotH- 4.4. This is the only time you'll hear me say that JTT got robbed.)

That doesn't really mean it's a bad movie. It's derivative, but it definitely had its moments. However, those moments are also derivative.

The plot of the movie is also both too fast and too slow. John meets Molly and follows her home the next day. It seemed by the third day he was already moving in. That's not hyperbole.
The crux of the movie is the battle for Molly between Cyrus and John, but that battle is such a slow burn that it hardly relevant to the plot, which is more focused on John's need for a relationship and Molly's striving for a balance between her new love and her old life. That is a movie in and of itself and it really doesn't need Cyrus at all to thrive.

The competition for Molly conveniently comes to a head at a wedding and Molly and John go through the requisite break-up-and-mopey-montage phase. Cyrus comes around and reunites the two. The movie is such a by-the-books story that it really puzzles me as to why people thought it was such a shocking film.

Overall, "Cyrus" doesn't prove itself to be anything new and its pacing needed some retooling in the editing department before shooting started. It toed the line between being a drama and a comedy and ended up being weak in both departments.

Seriously, Sundance? Why did this movie get such rave reviews when 15 years ago it was contrived kiddy fare crap? I guess it takes time to grow into contrived adult fare crap.

No comments:

Post a Comment